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Weekly Cases Update Volume 45, Issue 36

California Building Ass'n v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District

45 ELR 20243
S213478 (Cal., December 2015)

The California Supreme Court held that agencies subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) generally are not required to analyze the impact of existing environmental conditions on a project's future users or residents. But when a proposed project risks exacerbating those...

Environmental Assessment/Impact Statement, General

Penobscot Nation v. Mills

45 ELR 20241
1:12-cv-254-GZS (D. Me., December 2015)

A district court granted in part and denied in part cross-motions for summary judgment in a dispute between a Native American tribe and the state of Maine concerning the tribe's regulatory jurisdiction and fishing rights along the main stem of the Penobscot River. The court agreed with the tribe...

Jurisdiction, Property rights

John Sexton Sand & Gravel Corp. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co.

45 ELR 20242
14-cv-9827 (N.D. Ill., December 2015)

A district court held that an insurance company need not defend the owner of a landfill in an underlying CERCLA suit for recovery costs. The policy provided coverage for "wrongful entry," and the owner argued this provision applied because the underlying complaint alleges that odors, gas, and...

Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Held not triggered by

In re McCarthy

45 ELR 20240
15-2390 (4th Cir., December 2015)

The Fourth Circuit granted EPA's petition for a writ of mandamus to preclude an energy company from deposing EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a lawsuit seeking to compel EPA to evaluate the CAA's impacts on jobs under §321(a). High-ranking government officials may not be deposed or called to...

Agencies, Regulatory program

Cascadia Wildlands v. Thrailkill

45 ELR 20239
14-35819 (9th Cir., December 2015)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision denying environmental groups' motion to preliminarily enjoin a forest fire recovery project in the southern Oregon Klamath Mountains. After a fire destroyed approximately 48,000 acres of forest in Oregon, BLM initiated the project to salvage...

BLM lands, Biological opinion, §7(b), Northern spotted owl